May 14, 2007

On Zygmunt Bauman: Speak, Memory Scott McLemee has an interesting article on the recent 'outing' of Bauman's Stalinist past. Read the whole thing--he does a nice job contextualizing and criticizing Bauman's would be outers, arguing that the matter is hardly one of concealment and revelation and that what is more likely at stake today is the generational and political problem of governance in Poland. Link: Jobs, News and Views for All of Higher Education - Inside Higher Ed :: Speak, Memory. In March, a paragraph concerning Bauman appeared at Sign and Sight, a Web site providing capsule summaries in English of the Feuilletons (topical cultural articles) appearing in German newspapers and magazines. It noted the recent publication in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of an article by a Polish historian named Bogdan Musial. The piece “uncovers the Stalinist past of the world famous sociologist,” as Sign and Sight put it. It also quoted a bit of the article. “The fact is that Bauman was deeply involved with the violent communist regime in Poland for more than 20 years,” in Musial’s words, “fighting real and supposed enemies of Stalinism with a weapon in his hand, shooting them in the back. His activities can hardly be passed off as the youthful transgressions of an intellectual seduced and led astray by communist ideology. And it is astonishing that Bauman, who so loves to point the finger, does not reflect on his own deeds.” A few weeks later, another discussion of the matter appeared in The Irish Times — this...

Jodi Dean

Jodi Dean is a political theorist.

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